I have been sewing since I took a class in home economics in 7th grade, do they still have that in schools today? I have never taken professional sewing classes but always wanted to. My dream in high school was to be a fashion designer.
A few weeks ago I signed up for a class on Craftsy for the Librarian Blouse. You can watch the videos whenever you want and go at your pace. While watching one of the videos Christine, who is a professional seamstress, stressed how important it was to use a ham to press the bust darts. I had seen hams before but never saw anyone use one.
The ham looked so simple that I decided to look on the internet for a pattern. I found two websites that I liked and decided to combine them both to make my own. Most hams have two different fabrics. One is cotton and the other is wool. You would use the wool side to iron wool. Since I figured I would never make anything fitted out of wool I decided to opt out of that fabric and made both sides of mine with cotton.
Professional hams are filled with sawdust in order to mold to the shape of what you are sewing. I decided to use pine bedding as it is easy to find. It is also very inexpensive about $3.50 and I used very little of the bag. I can either make a ton to give away, lol, or find someone who can use the rest of the bag.
Here is the pattern I used. I used a dinner plate to round the large end and a smaller plate for the smaller end. You could use any type of plate or bowl. I used a ruler for the rest of the lines. The measurements are in inches. From tip to tip the ham pattern measures 15″.
I cut two pieces out of cotton and 2 pieces out of batting. Some have batting and others do not. Since I was not using a fine sawdust I decided to use the batting and not chance some poking out of the cotton.
I layered the two pieces of cotton right sides together on top of the two pieces of batting. I pinned the 4 pieces together and sewed 1/2″ seams leaving about a 4 inch opening on the larger end.
I turned the piece right side out and stuffed with the pine bedding. You really need to do this outside as it is very messy. I then whipped stitched the opening closed. Ham done!! I can’t wait to get started on my blouse now.